KOLARS is playing Echo Park Rising

and you should absolutely not miss it.

July 31st, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, News

Kolars is what rock and roll should be. They’re exciting, they’re deliberate, they’re flashy, they’re loud, they’re innovative, and they absolutely refuse to let you stand still.
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Kevin George – Fortina EP

Is emo rap growing up?

Lex Voight
Category: Review

I suppose it was inevitable, even before Drake became the mega powerhouse he is beating out the likes of no less than The Beatles for records and sales, that his brand of emotional rap and r and b (best exemplified by his sophomore release Take Care) would have a ripple effect through genre. It’s still strange to me to think of Drake as an established artist, almost an elder statesman of the music industry who’s songs are already being covered, remixed, and recovered by artists in ways that folk songs were passed along. He has interwoven his songwriting into culture itself, and thus his influence would only surprise people like me who live under very particularly-shaped rocks.

The recent infusion of so-called emo and cloud rap is in no doubt due in some small part to Drake, as much as it is how popular across the board the mid 00’s emo phase was. Drake has perfected and branded himself the emo-rap king and minting himself fortune and fame. While he may not have invented the genre, or at least not purposefully, his success necessitates a lot of imitators, emulators, and those who will take his sound to its next evolution. And we have begun to see those changes with artists in that scene. Similar to the emo scene of the 00’s, however, we have seen a blowback to the genre label itself; artists distancing themselves from a moniker that has blown up too quickly to, in the minds of many, have paid its dues and focuses way too much seemingly on image.

Regardless, Kevin George stands firmly in the midst of this tide. His sound is unrepentantly an adaptation of that same emo r and b genre, but his approach is a surprisingly mature one when so many similar sounding acts are getting into all sorts of ridiculousness. From his boldly confident artwork that shines for its understated simplicity, to his self-assured choices in songwriting. There are no gimmicks here, just a new and raw talent, which, in this day and age of face tattoos to gain attention and “stand out,” is a surprisingly daring move in a genre that seems to place so much importance on superficiality. Throughout the record Mr. George deftly integrates contemporary trap beats with cool-as-silk r and b, creating Weeknd-esque pop.

Parmore at the Forum

with Foster the People!

July 20th, 2018
Lex Voight

Paramore are, at this point, an institution. Its been a good 14 years since the emo-pop stalwarts broke onto an unsuspecting world during pop punk/emo’s mid 00 heydey. And while they maintained their course and trajectory for a while, keeping pace with more “seasoned” bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance, it has been a long time since they surpassed the former and outlived the latter. Now its been a year since their genre-eschewing effort After the Laughter, and they sold out Inglewood’s Forum the other night and put on one hell of a show.
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Interview with Flasher’s Taylor Mulitz

Catch the D.C. trio at the Echo tonight!

July 16th, 2018
Jillian Goldfluss
Category: News

Photo by Amy Breesman

Flasher is a band that probably doesn’t want you to read this article. Instead, they’d prefer you close this browser window, open the streaming app of your choice, and blare their debut LP, Constant Image. Like looking up the side effects of a drug online, you find your expectations being swayed by the opinions and experiences of others. But if you insist upon reading this article, then I’ll let the band do most of the talking.

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A conversation with Barenaked Ladies

The Canadian and 90’s legends play Friday!

June 12th, 2018
Lex Voight

As a kid, Barenaked Ladies were one of the few bands my whole family could agree on. Rock Spectacle (Live) and Stunt scored most of our family road trips. I remember that on more than one occasion, my parents were forced to drive down the highway, suffering in silence as my little sister and I competed to see who’d memorized more lyrics to “One Week.”
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The Bones of JR Jones: LAMB Session

Hot off of his new record release!

June 6th, 2018
Lex Voight

The Bones of JR Jones recently released his fourth project, Ones to Keep Close. The largely solo endeavor has plugged in and expanded, his once quiet and introspective songs, often mournful and heartfelt, have taken on a hard blues edge. While the influence of the delta blues and americana still rings through, the Chicago blues sound has a much bigger influence on this record, to stellar results.
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Horse Feathers — Appreciation

Easy rock done right

May 21st, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: Review

The Eagles can be a polarizing band.

With just enough country influences to not quite be rock, enough rock to not quite be folk, and a kind of omnipresence that can, at times, be cloying, the “easy-rock” band has as large a legion of haters as it does of avid fans. 

I, for one, fall into the former camp, which makes Horsefeathers’ Appreciation all that more remarkable by taking the template of folk-influenced easy rock and country and turning it into something that is soulful, enjoyable and deeply charismatic.

The 70’s rock and folk influences are immediately evident but gone are the cloying vestiges of the 60’s movement-gone-wrong that many of the folk-rock bands of the era fell prey to. In its place is a soulful, earnest effort that straddles its many influences with aplumb. 

Review: The Distillers @ The Observatory

The Distillers vs. The World That Didn’t Change

May 7th, 2018
Lex Voight

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”– Terry Pratchett
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Preview: Dessa at the El Rey

Dessa is coming to break and mend your heart.

May 5th, 2018
Lex Voight

Doomtree’s MVP Dessa is coming to the El Rey on Wednesday, May 9th. The songstress is touring in support of her triumphant third full length Chime (though that “third” is arguable, counting her stellar reimaginings of her work). Chime is already easily one of the best records of the year; full of her deeply humanist, heart-rendingly empathetic songwriting.

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